Sunday, December 27, 2009
A TIME FOR TAKING STOCK
It’s that in-between time. Christmas is over and New Year’s Day is almost here. The week between the two is busy, still festive, but less frantic. If you’re like me, you probably spent a good portion of the past week in your car, with the radio blasting holiday music interspersed with a helpful voice reminding you how many shopping days (hours) were left. Last week, many of us were pouring our energy and imagination into preparations to assure that, at least for one day, everything would be perfect for the people we love. Maybe you achieved that goal. Maybe not. I’m guessing that for most people there was at least one item on their “to do” list that didn’t get checked off–and it didn’t matter. What does matter is the love and hope that prompted the effort. If there is such a thing as a perfect day, it is a day filled with love and hope.
That was last week. Christmas 2009 is behind us. We can all relax–but not for long. This week we celebrate the beginning of a new year, actually a new decade. It’s time to plan new endeavors and to take stock of on-going projects. If you’re a writer, you probably have at least one of each vying for your attention. That’s where I am now. The current story is demanding extra time, a little more attention and it deserves no less. At the same time, new ideas keep popping up and they deserve to be attention too; they deserve to be nurtured. I feel a bit like a juggler. In addition to finishing the WIP, I have to prioritize the fledging stories that are begging to be told. I need to tell the emerging (and very impatient) characters to wait their turn, remind them that it takes time to construct a setting that will show them off in their best light. I need to find friends and (at least as important) enemies to share their adventure. I need to learn their names. Noisy as the voices are, they rarely tell me their names. There’s a lot to be done, many decisions to be made. All in good time, when the current story is ready to leave the nest.
And that’s just writing. There are all those other balls to keep in the air: family, friends, neighbors, a house that seems to be a magnet for clutter and dust. That’s not a complaint by the way. I know I’m blessed. But sometimes I feel inadequate to the blessings. This week, while the decorations are still up and next year’s calendar is beginning to fill in, seems a good time to take stock. Which of the things I do are truly important? Which are merely time killers? Ego strokers? Habit?
My hope for 2010 is that I find the right answers to these questions, the proper balance so that I can give my stories and the characters who inhabit them the time and attention they deserve–without giving short shrift to the other important elements in my life.
To all my AvalonAuthor-reading friends: HAPPY NEW YEAR-not a perfect year, but a year filled with love and hope.